Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Are a Child of God

Who is God? Have you ever wondered that? Have you ever really sat down and thought about it? I have met a lot of people that say they believe in God but they don't really have a very clear idea of who He is. There is a song that I really like that explains it quite clearly.

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more.
I bear testimony of the truths of this song. I testify that God is our Heavenly Father. That He knows us all individually and that he cares about us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What Do You Wonder?

Have you ever had a question? Something that you thought would only effect you? That's how Joseph Smith was, he had question that he thought was just for him. It turns out it changed the world...for everyone.

Joseph Smith was a young man that lived in upstate New York in the early 1800's. At this particular point in history there was a major religious excitement in America. America had recently gained its religious freedom and everyone was eagerly practicing their own beliefs.

Having noticed all of the excitement Joseph Smith began to ponder what could be true. Everyone claimed they had the right answers and that everyone else was wrong. How was he supposed to know? His family, being strong Christians, read from the Bible nightly and his confusion only increased when he read such verses as are found in Ephesians chapter four verse five; "There is one faith, one Lord, one baptism." He understood this to mean that there is ONE church of Christ, but which one was it? He continued attending the different churches and reading in the Bible until he came to a verse in the First chapter of the Book of James. It reads, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him". After reading this verse and concluding that he could not decide for himself which was right and which was wrong young Joseph decided to take James' advice. He would ask God.

One morning in the spring of 1820 Joseph Smith at the age of 14 years old headed into a grove of trees to pray to God and find out for himself what religion had the truth.

In his own words this is how he describes his experience...

"After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

 He again forbade me to join with any of them
I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it"

I add my witness as a humble disciple and servant of my Lord and Master Jesus Christ that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I also testify that he has been more persecuted for telling the truth than is believeable or acceptable. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. I know that Jesus is The Christ, the Son of the Living God and that He still reaches out to us in love. When we allow him to.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Where Can I Turn for Peace

1. Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
2. Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
3. He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

I absolutely love this song. It is a song that is found in the Hymnal for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is telling us that when all else fails we still have somewhere we can find peace and solace.

Have you ever been going through a hard time? Just struggling with something and you feel completely alone and nobody knows or understands what you are feeling? I know I have and I know that the worst thing in the world is when someone says, "I understand". It's irritating because they don't. Nobody knows how it feels for another person to go through anything. It just magnifies the loneliness that you feel.

I testify to you that there is a person to turn to. I bear witness that there is ONE person that understands perfectly what it's like to go through everything. That one person is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ felt EVERYTHING. He felt our sorrows, our pains, our weaknesses. He is the ONE person that has shed the same tear that we have. I bear testimony to you that when he knelt in a grove of trees, on the loneliest spring night known to man, that he suffered unimaginable agony and he did it for YOU. Personally. Not a group of faceless people, He did it for you. He saw your face and felt your pain.

I promise you that I know this is true. I can promise you with every ounce of my being that Jesus is The Christ, The Savior of the World, The Son of the Living God. I can bear witness to you that he is waiting to help with any situation. He loves us. He loves YOU.